Guide to Norine Carman Minstrels photograph C0492
Published by George Mason University Libraries
The minstrel show, or minstrelsy, was a racist form of entertainment that was most popular from 1850 through 1870, but continued in the vaudeville world through the early 20th century. Blackface minstrelsy consisted of white performers in blackface depicting racist caricatures of Black people, usually enslaved persons. Minstrel shows evolved and eventually all-Black troupes performed and were just as popular as blackface minstrelsy. By the late 1910s, minstrel shows had declined in popularity, but minstrelsy's influence on American culture reverberated for many years to come, with blackface being used in entertainment for decades thereafter.
Norine Carman Minstrels, previously Norine Carman and the Minstrel Boys, was a vaudeville minstrel show performed in the United States from at least as early as 1911 through at least 1919.
Black and white photograph of Norine Carman's Minstrels, a minstrel show, taken circa 1916 by C.F. Gairing & Co., Chicago photography studio. The photograph depicts six men seated on a stage wearing blackface, with the leader, a white woman (presumably Norine Carman) standing on a pedestal in the center. The photograph is inscribed and reads "With Best Wishes to - The Orchestra Boy - from Norine Carman Minstrels[.]" The photograph was used to advertise the show in various newspapers across America. On the verso is another inscription that reads "Norine Carman Minstrels[.]"
This is a single item collection.
There are no access restrictions.
Public Domain, there are no known restrictions.
Princeton Library holds the American Minstrel Show Collection.
The University of Arizona Special Collections holds the American Vaudeville Museum Archives, which has materials on minstrelsy.
Note: these collections/materials may be upsetting to view.
Norine Carman Minstrels photograph, C0492, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Purchased by Steve Gerber from Schubertiade Music in September 2017.
Processing completed by Amanda Brent in October 2021. EAD markup completed by Amanda Brent in October 2021. This item was formerly part of the Performing Arts Manuscript Materials collection, C0215.
"Blackface: The Birth of An American Stereotype." National Museum of African American History and Culture, accessed October 8, 2021. https://nmaahc.si.edu/blog-post/blackface-birth-american-stereotype.
Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Minstrel Show." Encyclopedia Britannica, accessed October 8, 2021. https://www.britannica.com/art/minstrel-show.
"Carman's Minstrels, Big Feature Act On New Bill At The Orpheum Tomorrow[.]" The Ogden Standard. April 19, 1916. Accessed through Chronicling America, Library of Congress.
Glomska, Hanna, et al. "History[.]" American Minstrel Show Collection finding aid, 2002. Princeton University Library, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.